Although you all come from different towns or lands you have all gathered in the main room of this shabby inn to wait out the unseasonable sand storm raging outside. As you glance about the room your eyes dart from one individual to another looking for threats or maybe an easy mark. In one corner you notice a group from House Zefren, startled you notice a brawny Mul sitting in slave chains surrounded by two well-armed guards. If you didn’t know better you would think that it was ‘Brom Kinslayer’, but that would be impossible. You shake your head, damn he fits every description of the arena fighter you have ever heard, but it couldn’t be. You see a group of locals, almost cowering in a corner their eyes filled with mistrust and apprehension of so many strangers. Another group casting menacing looks consist of a couple dwarves in armor fingering their carrikals, a half giant with a large club hovering over what appears to be a human arena fighter, hands shackled. Various other groups all keeping to themselves, most seem to have with them arena fighters. You remember hearing of a great arena event being called for in Tyr, the winner will be granted his freedom and his owner great wealth. But the ones you keep watching are the individuals, you really don’t trust lone travelers in the desert it seems so risky, you chuckle to yourself knowing your one of them. Your eyes dart here and there, watching the Thri-Kreen trying so hard to fade into the shadows, the dragonborn sitting with his back to the wall watching everyone, the tall lanky elf, the Halfling at the end of the bar. But the one which gives you the chills is the devil horned Tifling sitting off in the corner, no one within ten feet of him, he seems so smug and dangerous. Suddenly……….
The door opens with a boom and the room is filled with wind and sand. Three people step in and force the door closed again. A Balican Dwarf jumps up on a chair and calls for silence….
I am Rhotan Vor, House Wavir, I run this trading post and am looking for a few hardy men or women to assist in recovering one of my caravans lost in this blasted sandstorm. You will be paid well for your success and most likely die for your failure (laughs). So step up if your game!
The Adventure Begins
You set off into the GASW following the caravan trail towards the Silver Springs Oasis. You all find the day is brutally hot. A sweltering breeze kicks up a haze of dust. You follow the wagon’s tracks as they appear and disappear in the sands, following them into an area of jumbled orange boulders and creosote bushes. As you approach you hear an outburst of high-pitched hisses and battle cries in a language you don’t recognize. Five small hunched reptilian creature carrying spears, daggers, and blowguns leap out of their hiding places. Their mouths are full of sharp fangs, and they dart over the sand with great speed.
Swinging into action Brom charges into the fray, Godrick’s moves into a position to support and lend a bit of healing if needed and Khashana moves back into a advantageous spot summoning her doppelganger into the battle. The pitched battle goes back and forth; both sides taking damage but in the end out heroes did what hero’s do and prevailed in glory.
After a quick bite to eat and some water to quench the thirst our hero’s are back on the trail of the missing wagon. As they crest the top of a large sand dune the spot it standing in a jumble of rocks, half buried by drifting sand. you see no sign of the draft animals or the drivers. A portion of the cargo-jugs of wind and plancks of hardwood-lies broken and scattered on the nearby sand. A hlf-dozen creatures with chitinous shells and spikelike claws are scuttling around and chittering to each other as they pick over the wreckage.
After taking with Kivrin, you all step outside for a breath of fresh air and find yourselves back in the market district. Walking around, checking the local wares you feel eyes upon you, but really shrug it off and being winners in the arena. Not knowing your way around you step down an alley and find it’s a dead end. When you turn you find the entrance blocked by an imposing figure, a half-giant!
As you walk back towards the figure you notice she, is not carrying a visible weapon and doesn’t seem like she’s a thief as she is dressed in merchant garb. She steps forward and asks, are you the hero’s people speak of as finding the treasure of Darom Madar? Godrick whispers to Khashana, and then they both seem to drop their guard. Godrick tells Brom she seems mean us no harm, and he tells her you are. She introduces herself as Karlen, the owner of “Karlen’s Eye” a collectible shop in the Artisan District. Then she goes on by telling you she has heard rumor of the recent discovery of the “Face of Stone” , an ancient relic of the past age. It was discovered in a ruin in the desert to the northeast of Tyr. She then asks if she could hire you to find and recover this artifact for her shop? She offers 50 gold if you would take on this job.
A little while later you are exhausted and walk back to your inn, where stepping inside you are greeted by the patrons with awe and excitement. Everyone knows you name and wants to shake your hands, buy you a drink, of just stare at you. It seems your fame is growing by the minute. You all find a quite (as quite as can be) in the corner and sit down to have a meal. Brom looks up from his plate and groans as there is a dwarf in non-descript clothing standing at the table. He has about had all the poking and prodding he can handle and in a unfriendly rumbling voice asks “What do you want, can’t you see I’m trying to eat here?” The dwarf doesn’t seem to take notice to the tone of voice and just placed a rolled up sheet of papyrus with a wax marked with three dragonflies on it. Then without a word turns and leaves.
Khashana seems a bit curious and opens the sheet, Godrick seems a bit puzzled by the seal saying he can’t think of which house it belongs to. Khashana reads the note:
Greetings from House Shom.
We’ve sent messengers throughout Tyr to deliver this communication to those of mercenary guise. If you be such, and you wish to earn a great reward, read on.
Desert raiders harass and disrupt our caravans, yet the Revolutionary Council of Tyr will not lift a finger to help. Thus, honest merchants must find aid elsewhere.
The raiders claim that our caravans know the site of a ruined temple called the Face in the Stone. They say if we give up the locaton, their attacks will cease. But we know nothing of the ruin. Moreover, a Shom caravan seeking to find the Face in the Stone never returned.
Our request is this: find the Face in the Stone, learn the fate of our lost caravan, and provide assistance to any survivors. All we have concerning the ruin’s location is a line from an old song: “Where the devil’s horn threads the tunnel in the sky, a stony visage rarely blinks its hollow eye.”
Return with your finding to our emporium in Tyr, and you will be heralded as heroes of House Shom.
Regards, Delem Shom
It is coincidence or fate? Is it a trap or more fame? This are some of the questions you think about. The biggest one of all……..Will you take on the offers by Delem and Karlen? What of Kivrin’s offer, could it all be linked?